2013 will be the earliest that we see wide receiver Nate Burleson in an NFL game. Whether or not that's even as a member of the Detroit Lions remains to be seen. However, we will get to see Burleson on the Lions' sideline starting this week. He is still recovering from the broken leg he suffered in Chicago last month, but doctors have cleared him to be on the sideline and travel with the team.
From the Free Press:
"I think I can use these (crutches), I just got to be behind the bench, so you’ll see me yelling behind the bench, getting guys going," he said. "I’m going to do my part. At the end of the day, to be honest, I still get paid, so I feel terrible when I’m at home watching the game. It’s not the same when you pick up a check during the season and when you pick up the check and you’re not playing. I got to figure out a way to earn my money, and if I can motivate the guys to play better, play faster, play stronger and get a victory, then I’m going to feel better about myself."
Burleson is one of the Lions' biggest leaders. While his absence hasn't necessarily been noticeable during games thanks to guys like Titus Young and Ryan Broyles stepping it up, I'm sure there has been a void in the locker room. With Burleson being cleared to actually be around the team again, hopefully it will give the Lions a bit of a boost as they get ready to take on the Green Bay Packers.